Questions: Would YOU “Ask Father”?

Our American blogger, RCA Victor, writes…

Following up on the notion that the CT blog could be a sort of cyber-parish for modern Catholics, esp. as a source of orthodox catechesis, here’s a thought:

Is there a traditional priest up your sleeve who would be willing to answer questions from readers in the form of a blog topic, every so often? You could call it “Ask Father” or something of the sort, and create a separate email for these questions so you don’t get swamped. Webmaster or someone on the CT Team could collect the questions and forward them to Father, he could supply the answers, and the Team could post them.  End. 

Editor replies...

This, and similar suggestions, are put to us from time to time.  I find the idea understandable on one level, but very puzzling on another.  Here’s why. 

It is the ordained who are causing and/or supporting/perpetuating the crisis in the Church.  

I do have to admit, however,  that, even before I became aware of the crisis, I am on record as saying to various friends that a priest is the last person I would ever approach to discuss a personal problem.  It’s a kind of instinct.  Even from the age of 11 years when enquiring about membership of the junior Legion of Mary, I was not encouraged by our curate… I later discovered that he was the Spiritual Director of the parish group!  Clericalism is still a major problem in the Church and my own sense is that, when priests are so lacking in elementary understanding of the basic lay vocation, I can’t really be confident in the sort of answers they would give in any area of doubt, whether moral, religious or spiritual. Very recently a priest pointed out to me that St Catherine of Siena could criticise popes because she had been given a special grace from God – not because she was a Confirmed Soldier of Christ. So, that was me and moi put in our respective places! Now, of course, St Catherine of Siena was a great mystic and saint with a very important and special mission from God, but there was nothing to stop God choosing a priest or bishop for the task. The fact that He chose a lay woman signals to us that everyone, men, women and children, must be active lay apostles. That priests are simply not aware of that fact themselves, which is why it is seldom, if ever, a topic for preaching,  does not fill me with confidence that their answers to key questions and advice would be solidly reliable. 

The priestly vocation is to dispense the sacraments and preach the Faith.  From time to time, we’ve had priest contributors to this blog as part of their duty to “preach the Faith” but they tend not to stay the course. Perseverance in the work of the lay apostolate is not a widespread virtue.  The other day I was searching for a comment among very old blog topics and was astonished at the names of bloggers I’d totally forgotten.   They come and they go, priests included.  And I have to say that of the several priests who have blogged here, none have been “traditionalists” …  Indeed, when I asked one “traditionalist” priest if he reads our blog he replied in the negative, all the while assuring me that he supported what we are doing. Truly, you couldn’t make it up. Who was it said: “the blog has been betrayed, even by those who should have contributed to it?” 

So, in terms of “orthodox catechesis”, I would expect “traditional” priests to participate in our discussions and since they don’t, I lack confidence in their willingness to commit to the kind of role which RCA Victor (and others before him) suggest. And as for addressing individual concerns? Well…

I don’t see priests as problem-solvers; even “traditionalist” and “traditional leaning” priests don’t always get it right, and might do a great deal of damage with their “advice”. I remember some years ago, when my mother was elderly and with mobility issues, so that I was reluctant to leave her for any length of time in case she fell,  a priest made a comment about my spasmodic attendance at his weekday Masses. I did try to attend when I could but that entailed recruiting a  “mother-sitter” and although my siblings were happy to help when they could, they were in full time employment and had their own work and family commitments. They were already committed to staying with my mother on Sundays and Holy Days, to let me get to Mass.  When the subject next arose and I “asked Father” if he thought attending a weekday Mass took precedence over my duty to my mother, he replied, slowly… “Yes …I think so”.  Wrong!  For me to abandon my sick mother in order to attend a weekday Mass would have been sinful, not virtuous.  So, recommending priests to those seeking sound spiritual, religious and moral advice, is something of a daunting task these days. 

As things stand, when I do, occasionally, receive emails from people asking me to recommend a priest, I suggest one of the SSPX-affiliated priests, who has given me permission to distribute his contact details to anyone who asks.  This priest offers personal retreats for people on a one-to-one basis, in a beautiful setting, on the Scottish island of Stronsay, and I am always happy to email his details to anyone who wishes to contact him. 

However, if I “asked [any] Father” you care to name, to take on the role of a Catholic Truth Agony Uncle as outlined by our zealous RCA Victor I can say without fear of contraception contradiction, that he would decline the job.  Even with a six figure salary (£000.000) 😀

Of course, if YOU are a priest reading this who would relish the role – feel free to say so loud and clear. Your appointment begins with immediate effect! 

Marriage & Modernist Double-Speak…

Extracts below from Catholic Herald article entitled: Cardinal lays out plan for parishes to implement Amoris Laetitia

Cardinal Donald Wuerl has issued a broad and detailed pastoral plan for parishes to implement Pope Francis’s post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”).

“Amoris Laetitia is a call to compassionate accompaniment in helping all to experience Christ’s love and mercy,” the Archbishop of Washington said in the 58-page pastoral plan.

The plan, “Sharing in the Joy of Love in Marriage and Family,” was posted on the archdiocesan website late on March 3. Cardinal Wuerl planned to officially introduce the document to the archdiocese with a Mass on March 4 at the Cathedral of St Matthew the Apostle…

“Some may ask, ‘Is the teaching [on marriage] always binding?’ The answer of course is yes,” he continued. “Yet Amoris Laetitia invites us to adopt a complementary perspective and to look with a parental attitude at those families who find themselves in a position where they struggle to even understand, let alone embrace fully, the teaching because of the concrete circumstances in which they live.”

Cardinal Wuerl said his pastoral plan is “directed to parishes, priests, religious and laity” and is meant “to encourage reflection” on:

• “The richness of the Church’s perennial teaching on love, marriage, family, faith and mercy.”
• “The essential aspect of pastoral ministry, called accompaniment.”
• “Several significant themes such as the new evangelisation, the role of conscience, and the privileged place of the parish where we find and experience Christ’s way of living and loving.”  Read entire article here

Comment: 

So, “yes” Christ’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage is always binding, but here’s how to get round it… is essentially what the Cardinal is saying in typical modernist double speak. After all, a competent teacher,  confronted by a student who “struggles to even understand, let alone embrace fully” a subject  puts his/her mind and skill to working out ways to explain the subject more fully, more clearly, but doesn’t change the truth to make it more palatable.  2 + 2 will never make 5, no matter how much the student (and exasperated teacher) wishes it were so. 

Check out the bullet points – closely. Notice one of the “significant themes” is the role of conscience… Code for the heresy of “your choice,  your decision”, objective truth, objective morality does not exist but even if they do, well, rules are there to be broken, as the old saying goes. However it’s dressed up, and whatever the motivation, Amoris Laetitia (AL) is all about breaking the rules.

Still,  Cardinal Wuerl is a bit behind the AL times.  Here in the Archdiocese of Glasgow, we had retreats for priests and teachers almost as AL was rolling off the press, so chop-chop over there in the USA – we’re well ahead of you on this…

SSPX: Priest Resigns – Is Former UK Superior Plotting Trouble Ahead?

Translation of text of the above interview follows…

Introduction

I am Father Paul Morgan, ordained by Bishop Lefebvre at Ecône in 1988. After that, I was 4 years in the district house in London as an assistant. Following this, I was the 1st Superior of the Society of St. Pius X in the Philippines for 4 years, until 1996. Then 2 years as a school principal at St Mary’s School in England and then 5 years as a prior at Post Falls in Idaho, USA. And then 12 years as district superior of Great Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia, until 2015. Then sabbatical year at Montgardin, which I had asked for. And then 2016-2017, Prior in Vancouver, Canada.

Current situation…

Right now, I am outside the Society, since I resigned on August 9 of this year [2017] because of the marriage affair.

The Marriage Affair…

It seemed to me, it always seems to me, that it is an essential compromise to accept the principle that priests representing modern dioceses come to us, in the bastions of Tradition, to receive the promises of the bride and groom. Even if in practice we are a little restricted in such things, we have accepted the principle. And that’s why, in concrete terms, I wrote my letter of resignation.

Timing of resignation…

I think there were many of us, quite a few priests and superiors themselves, who had reacted against the new way of doing things, even before the 2012 chapter. There were many of us in Albano in 2011 to say to Bishop Fellay, very respectfully, that these steps should not be continued in order to reach an agreement with modernist Rome. So, we have already done a great deal in the Society, among ourselves, with the superiors to denounce and oppose these approaches. For example, in 2012, the district of Great Britain was ready, in its entirety, to break away if they made a false agreement with modernist Rome. So it is not just this year that we have begun to react, but we have already for years.

Why no public reaction…

I think the manifesto, the statement of the 7 deans and superiors of friendly communities in France, was very, very well put. So publicly, that was already explained. And I can also say that I have done things in order and according to the rules, by sending a manifesto signed by several priests from Canada to Bishop Fellay and to Menzingen, explaining quite simply, the serious problems with these new directives for receiving marriage vows. So right away we talked about it on the Internet, so it became public, etc.. So, I chose to do things that way. Now, I speak more publicly, since I’ve had a little time to organize myself – and we left Canada with a suitcase in our hands, not knowing where to go because we never thought of being alone, on the outside like that.

What prospects for the 2018 General Chapter?

Unfortunately, I do not have much hope in the general chapter next year. It seems to me that with the change of minds that has been taking place for several years now – so that we think that Rome is now kind, Rome loves us, we can make an agreement or do more good saying inside the Church, as if we were outside the Church until now, it’s unbelievable, isn’t it – so I don’t have much hope. And we can see that good priests like the 7 deans, for example, who have made a very good document – and a special hello to Father de la Rocque in exile in the Philippines, a country that I like very much but which is still in exile – we see what happens to priests who denounce problems respectfully and rightly: we punish them! So I think the superiors in the chapter will simply do what Menzingen tells them to do.

What about your apostolate?

At the moment, I have no official apostolate. I am in contact with a lot of priests, in France and abroad, as well as with the faithful, encouraging and supporting them. Aslo with priests who have left [the SSPX] already a few months or a few years ago, for reasons that are in the end quite similar.

It is very encouraging to see the strong religious communities in France, religious men and women. I am in contact with them but I understand that this is a difficult situation for these communities, which may be at risk of sanctions if they show themselves too publicly in agreement with priests like myself.

Nevertheless, we celebrate Mass, we pray, we visit confreres, we have been able to preach a retreat already, we have made visits on the right and on the left. I get a lot of invitations from other countries to come and help. But at the moment, for rather practical matters we have to organise ourselves before embarking on any future activities. But I think, it seems to me that in June-July 2018, we are going to shoot into action. I think there will be more positive reactions in the coming year.

In connection with the bishops consecrated by Bishop Williamson?

Yes, if need be, of course, since we need bishops for Sacred orders and confirmations. Consecrating bishops in this emergency, as Archishop Lefebvre himself had said, can be repeated. This is not something reserved exclusively for Archbishop Lefebvre. And yes, we are quite willing to collaborate with the faithful, with faithful Catholics.

In conclusion…

I conclude by saying that we always have hope in the Good Lord. I think of Archbishop Lefebvre who was alone. He resigned some the Holy Ghost Fathers so as not to have any part in the destruction of his congregation. So priests like him and certainly many others, did this for important reasons. Let us try to make contacts, to gather together in order to help other priests who, for the moment, remain within the Society, hoping to organize something to help them as also [to help] the sound faithful. There’s a lot of work to be done. We have hope.

And then, finally, Our Lady of Fatima spoke about diabolic disorientations. It seems to me that what is happening here is an example, right here in 2017, [an example] of this confusion of mind. So, as Archbishop Lefebvre said, we must remain faithfully, we must keep the principles of the fight for the faith, the good fight and then, if we have to suffer by doing this, God’s Holy will must be done.   Source

Statement from Canada on Fr Morgan’s departure from the SSPX here 

Comment: 

What on earth does “shoot into action” [in June-July, 2018] mean?  Is Fr Morgan intent on acting to divide, further, the SSPX faithful? 

This is very disappointing coming from a former Superior of the SSPX GB district.  Very disappointing indeed. 

I could write a book about Fr Morgan and it would be less than flattering but I would ask all bloggers who choose to comment on this subject to be restrained and stick to the issues.  Please avoid any temptation to personal criticism of Father Morgan, or citing examples of what we considered to be lack of pastoral care affecting the Scottish faithful during his years as Superior in the UK;  instead, stick to the facts relating to his decision to resign from the Society, apparently unaware that he is now part and parcel of the very diabolical disorientation to which he refers in the above interview. 

Might his reference to “shooting into action” next summer be interpreted as a “plans afoot” to further divide the Society or is there another more innocent explanation? 

Vatican Protocol & Doctrine – Linked?

The Vatican Secretariat of State had specifically looked into changing the protocol, at Pope Francis’ request. As it turned out, the protocol was applied for the first time on the occasion of the visit by Argentina’s new President Mauricio Macri to the Vatican, where he attended an audience with Pope Francis on Saturday 27 February. From now on, Catholic heads of state in irregular marital unions will be able to meet the Pope along with their spouse and the latter will also be able to appear in official group photos when gifts are exchanged. Until today, in such cases, the husband or wife had to wait in another room and the Pope greeted them separately at the end of the audience. 

Pope Francis hugs US gay couple at the Vatican embassy, in 2015

Pope Francis hugs US ‘gay’ couple at
the Vatican embassy, in 2015

 Argentinian journalist Elisabetta Piqué was the first to announce the change in protocol in an article published by daily newspaper La Nación

 Secretariat of State sources confirmed to Vatican Insider that this change is in force as of now and applies to all Catholic heads of state on official visits to the Vatican. According to traditional protocol, only in cases of Catholic heads of state – being spiritual children of the Church – did the “regularity” of a marital state need to be take into consideration respecting Canon Law. 

 Argentina’s new President Mauricio Macri and his third wife, Juliana Awada, were the first to experience this change in etiquette. The decision was taken in light of something that occurred two years ago when a Latin American head of state who had married his wife in a civil ceremony met the Pope who then greeted the wife in a separate location. That was when he started thinking about changing the protocol that had been in place until then. In a statement about remarried divorces during his interview with journalists on the return flight from Mexico on 17 February, Francis said: “The key phrase used by the synod, which I’ll take up again, is ‘integrate’ in the life of the Church the wounded families, remarried families, etcetera.” The change in protocol is a small step in that direction.  Source

Comment

The feeling out on the street these days is that Pope Francis will come perilously close to making one of his many errors binding on Catholics – perhaps his assurance to Protestants and atheists that they needn’t worry about salvation, no need to convert,  or perhaps his confusing messages about marriage and the family (all shapes and sizes acceptable) or similar. The feeling out on the street is that this is likely to come about soon, and will provoke some major activity, either through the concerned members of the hierarchy or by direct divine intervention.  This news of a change in Vatican protocol seems to support the voices on the street. IS this a significant change, or does it really not matter that much?

Synod: Some Good News For A Change…

Louis & Zelie MartinStThereseRome, March 03, 2015 (Zenit.org) Staff Reporter | 659 hits

Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, informed recently that the parents of Saint Therese of Lisieux – Louis and Zelie Martin –, will be canonized this October, coinciding with the Synod on the Family, which will take place at that time in the Vatican.

“Thanks be to God in October two spouses, parents of Saint Therese of Lisieux, will be canonized,” said the Salesian Cardinal, at a recent meeting organized by the Libreria Editrice Vaticana (LEV) to discuss the topic “Of What Use Are Saints?” stressing the importance of sanctity in the family.

“Saints are not only priests and nuns, but also lay people,” pointed out Cardinal Amato, referring to this exemplary French married couple.

Married in 1858, they had nine children, five of whom followed the religious life.

The 218 letters that are kept of Zelie, written from 1863 until her death in 1877, record the rhythm of life with the War of 1870, the economic crises, and the births and death of their four babies.

Daily Mass at 5:30 am, Angelus and Vespers, rest on Sundays, fasting during Lent and Advent — but also jokes and games, as Louis liked to fish and play billiards.

STTHERESEThey invited poor people to dine in their home and they visited the elderly. They also taught their daughters to treat the underprivileged as equals.

Zelie died of a very painful cancer at 46. Louis was left with five very young daughters: Marie, Pauline, Leonie, Celine and Therese, who was only four and a half years old but who always remembered her Mother as a Saint. Louis died in 1894, after suffering a serious mental illness.

Benedict XVI beatified both parents on October 19, 2008. Their canonization will be the first joint canonization of a married couple. Many have proposed their life of daily holiness as a model for our time.

Louis and Zelie Martin are the parents of Saint Therese of Lisieux, Patroness of the Missions and one of the most loved Saints by Pope Francis. St. John Paul II proclaimed her Doctor of the Church in 1997.   Source

Comment

At last, some edifying news from Rome…  Share your thoughts on how this event might help dispel the forces of darkness which are, without doubt, hovering over the forthcoming Synod, Part Two. 

2 (faithful) homosexuals same as “heterosexuals” – New Cardinal

gay marriage

(Reuters) – The Vatican has appointed the archbishop of Berlin, seen by German media as part of a “new generation” of less dogmatic clergy, to take over the Cologne archdiocese, the largest and richest in Germany, it said on Friday.

The move makes Rainer Maria Woelki, who turns 58 next month, one of the most influential Catholic cardinals and is an indication of the type of person Pope Francis wants to see in prominent Church roles.

[I]n 2012, he said “If two homosexuals take responsibility for each other, if they are loyal to each other over the long term, then one should see this in the same way as heterosexual relations.”  Read entire report here

Comment

There’s no point criticising the person who made this appointment – Pope Francis.  We know, absolutely and without doubt, that he is, as Bishop Fellay describes him, “an outright Modernist”. That’s a given and we’ve “done him to death” so to speak on the previous thread. No, what we need to do here is to make sure that we know all of the reasons why Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki is wrong. Why is it absolutely not true to say that “if two homosexuals… are loyal to each other… then one should see this in the same way as heterosexual relations” (note: we do not use the term “heterosexual” at Catholic Truth  – it is another trick to give the impression that there are sexuality options, so we only use it when quoting, as in this instance.  Generally, we speak of homosexuality Vs natural sexual behaviour, or traditional, marriage.)

So, how do we combat the false notion that homosexual behaviour “should be seen in the same way” as natural sexual behaviour / traditional marriage?